Union Minister for Coal and Mining, Pralhad Joshi, has said that Jammu and Kashmir will put on sale the lithium block discovered last month. For the first time in the history of modern India, lithium reserves were found in a huge quantity in Jammu and Kashmir last month.

A whopping 5.9 million tonnes of lithium were found in the union territory, as per the the government. Lithium is a non-ferrous metal and is one of the key components in EV batteries.

“The mineral block will be auctioned as Composite License (CL) by the Government of Union Territory of J&K. The financial viability will be determined after auctioning by the successful bidder,” Joshi said in Rajya Sabha.

The expected date of extraction of lithium will depend upon successful auction of the mineral block.

“GSI (Geological Survey of India) carried out a G3 stage project during Field Season 2020-21 and 2021-22 in Salal-Haimna areas of Reasi district, Jammu & Kashmir and estimated an inferred resource (G3) of 5.9 million tonnes of lithium ore and the report has been handed over to the Government of Union Territory of J&K,” the minister said.

In a separate reply, the minister said that GSI generates baseline geoscience data through mapping, e.g. geological, geochemical, geophysical which is a prerequisite for identifying the potential area for systematic mineral exploration.

Based on the mapping data, GSI carries out systematic mineral exploration activities for various major mineral commodities including lithium.

“In part of Jammu & Kashmir, as a follow up of lithium exploration in Salal-Haimna areas of Reasi district, GSI has taken up another reconnaissance G4 stage exploration programme on lithium and associated mineral in Panasa – Dugga – Baldhanun – Chakar – Sangarmarg (Saro-da-Bas) area of Reasi district during current field season 2022-23 and the work is in progress,” he said.

Based on the mapping outcome more exploration programme on various mineral commodities including lithium will be taken up in future in different parts of the country including Jammu & Kashmir.